C'mon Hollywood: Give us a new horror icon already!
It’s October in Hollywood and you know what that means, right? Zero new mainstream horror films are being released! Sure, you can argue for the remake of CARRIE, but the fact of the matter is that it’s one of the billion new remakes Hollywood has released in the last decade. While there are some really well made and effective horror remakes in existence, the ones of late have rehashed, reused and recycled all the horror icons from the not-so-distant past. Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers have all been through the remake-ringer (and then some) and with the approaching release of CARRIE, it looks like filmmakers are only going to continue with these unwanted and unnecessary remakes.
Some remakes are fine (the remake of THE RING comes to mind), but now that we have a new generation of filmgoers, Hollywood shouldn’t be concentrating on revamping favorites from the past; they should be working their asses off to create a new horror icon that’ll go down in history as an original creation that actually scares audiences. We deserve to have something new and exciting introduced to us and the fact that there’s nothing new is truly pathetic. Most baddies in horror films today are mostly forgettable or they’re just rehashes of what audiences have seen time and time again. But, that’s not to say that no one has tried.
The recent TRICK ‘R TREAT gave us Sam, who was menacing and badass. BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON gave us Leslie Vernon, who was a charming, funny and ridiculously cool character. HATCHET gave audiences Victor Crowley who was.... actually pretty cliche and uninspired. The point is, it does seem like some filmmakers are trying to give us something new and while that’s appreciated, these three films were unseen by a large majority of people. Some of these films are more popular than the others, but for the most part, audiences as a whole do not know what these films are, much less the characters that are trying to be given the illustrious title of “The Next Big American Horror Movie Icon.” The fact that these films are a little lighter in tone and comedic doesn’t help matters, either.
I think the latest real horror icon would be Jigsaw. While the puppet isn’t the actual thing to be feared (although it is pretty damn creepy), it’s the symbol that represents John Kramer’s overall message. While the SAW series drastically declined in quality by the time SAW IV rolled around, Jigsaw stayed with audiences and became a staple in the group of horror icons right along Ghostface and Pinhead. Again, most of the sequels sucked ass, but it’s not like this is the first time it’s happened.
Shitty horror sequels have always existed. Looking back on it, the original HALLOWEEN and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET were fantastic and still hold up, but how many of their sequels warrant a recommendation or even a second viewing? What happened with those films happened with EVERY horror series, be it SAW, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY or HELLRAISER. Enjoying more or less with what they saw the first time, producers know for a fact that audiences will pay again and again for films starring the same baddie hacking people up, giving filmmakers the incentive to keep shitting out lazy sequel after lazy sequel leaving us in this terrible cycle that will eventually lead to something so bad or forgettable that a remake is put into the works and we begin the process all over again.
Surprisingly enough, the films out there that are doing the best with their situation are the CHILD'S PLAY movies. Sure, the series has had some stinkers in the past, but with the latest release of CURSE OF CHUCKY, we have a horror icon that not only hasn't been rebooted (yet), but still sports the original voice of Brad Dourif as Chucky, which is pretty awesome. If you're going to continue with sequels, you might as well keep the same player in it (although, I have to admit, CURSE OF CHUCKY being released straight to DVD is super weak sauce).
So, c’mon, Hollywood. I know it may be asking for a lot, but concentrate on making a cool new horror icon! We deserve it! Again, remakes are okay sometimes, but it's come to the point where audiences need a slasher, killer, psycho, ghost, demon or otherwise to call their own. I realize that creating a horror icon that will resonate with audiences and last generations isn't the easiest thing to accomplish, but it's better to take a chance and try something different than lazily re-do what worked before.
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|Extra Tidbit:||Who is YOUR favorite recent horror movie icon? Mine is easily Leslie from BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON. Check it out if you haven’t yet.|